All-Ireland club football semi-final: Slaughtneil 0-12 St Vincent's 0-10

Media playback is not supported on this device

McKaigue stars as Slaughtneil reach final

Slaughtneil pulled off a huge upset to go through to the All-Ireland Club Football Championship final for the second time in three years.

The Ulster champions were deserving winners against a fancied St Vincent's team, outscoring the Dubliners by seven points to four in the second half .

Chrissy McKaigue was the star, and outscoring Dublin forward Diarmuid Connolly by four points to one.

Slaughtneil will play Dr Crokes of Kerry in the final at Croke Park.

The team from Killarney beat Galway club Corofin 2-11 to 0-8 in Saturday's second semi-final.

Eight of the Slaughtneil team are excepted to play for the club's hurlers in their All-Ireland semi-final on 25 February.

The club are on course for a remarkable hat-trick of All-Ireland titles as the camogie team are already into their final.

Of all the victories they have managed in hurling and football in the last three years, this was perhaps Slaughtneil's finest moment.

They played as a team with a collective spirit and hunger that left the Dublin champions trailing in their wake.

Slaughtneil were the beaten finalists in 2015
Slaughtneil were the beaten finalists in 2015

McKaigue was immense, choosing his moments to drive forward and landed three monster scores in the second half with the wind.

This was not the outcome St Vincent's had expected and they lost their discipline in the last quarter with black cards for Brendan Egan and Cormac Diamond, while Connolly and Ger Brennan were also booked in that spell.

Connolly had spells at full-forward against Brendan Rogers but mostly at centre half-forward against Chrissy McKaigue.

He found both to be tough customers, and most of the scoring damage in the opening half was done by Mayo's Enda Varley who scored two points from play and converted two frees.

Christopher Bradley scored the opening point for Slaughtneil after four minutes but Vincent's had a good first quarter and led by 0-3 to 0-1, with Nathan Mullins and Connolly scoring from play.

An accomplished defensive spine has helped Slaughtneil to the top of the pile in Ulster, and they grew in confidence as they came to terms with Vincent's attacking strengths.

Chrissy McKaigue showed great leadership to surge forward, throwing off the tackles to shoot from 40 metres and his shot into a strong wind curled inside the far post.

St. Vincent's Michael Concarr attempts to fend off Christopher Bradley and Paul Bradley of Slaughtneil
Eight of the Slaughtneil team are excepted to play for the club's hurlers in their All-Ireland semi-final on 25 February

The Dublin champions got a lot of men behind the ball forcing Slaughtneil to shoot from distance, which they did with mixed success.

Five first-half wides and Paul Bradley's poor 25m free which dropped short were tempered with Christopher Bradley's tremendous left-footed point to tie the scores at five points each.

Varley dropped the shoulder and his left-footed point edged Vincent's back in front, 0-6 to 0-5, at the break.

Slaughtneil outscored St Vincent's by five points to one in a 13 minute spell after the interval, McKaigue with two points and Christopher Bradley and Shane McGuigan also finding their range.

Vincent's go-to men were being bottled up by Slaughtneil's well-drilled defence but Gavin Burke found the space and accuracy to score twice with his left foot.

Vincent's carved out the game's only goal chance with Shane Carthy flicking the ball towards goal but goalkeeper Anton McMullan dived to his left to turn the ball round the post.

Varley pointed his only score of the second half but Vincent's couldn't get back on level terms. Slaughtneil confidently played out the clock and Paul Bradley's injury-time free was the insurance point to see them through in search of a first All-Ireland crown.

Slaughtneil: A McMullan; F McEldowney, B Rodgers, K McKaigue; P McNeill, C McKaigue (0-4), K Feeney; Patsy Bradley, P Cassidy; Shane McGuigan (0-3, 2f), Paul Bradley (0-2, 2f), M McGrath; C Bradley (0-3), Se McGuigan, C O'Doherty

Subs: R Bradley for Se McGuigan (54), B McGuigan for K McKaigue (BC, 64)

St Vincent's: M Savage; M Concarr, J Curley, C Wilson; B Egan, G Brennan, Cameron Diamond; N Mullins (0-1), S Carthy (0-1); G Burke (0-2), D Connolly (0-1), Cormac Diamond; R Trainor, E Varley (0-5, 2f), T Quinn

Subs: A Martin for Trainor (46), J Feeney for Cormac Diamond (BC, 61), K Golden for Cameron Diamond (67), F Breathnach for Mullins (58), S McCusker for Egan (BC, 62)

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)

Top Stories